The chat messenger market is strongly growing. More and more businesses become aware of the Whatsapp problem as part of the shadow IT and look for a “secure Whatsapp for enterprise”.
More and more businesses understand the transition from email to messaging in the communication with colleagues and teams, and seek a dedicated chat messenger app to improve collaboration and increase productivity in the messaging era. More and more businesses want strong data protection and security to protect against cyber attacks and comply with important laws like the European general data protection regulation (GDPR), and deploy a secure messenger for enterprises like Teamwire. This is all great and signs of a huge market.
With a huge market comes stronger competition.
Many new enterprise messaging apps, messengers for business, secure messaging apps, chat messenger apps, etc. are currently entering the market on a regularly basis. The increased number of messaging vendors is generally good for customers, because it accelerates the speed of innovations, improves product quality, drives industry standards and allows to compare features. Some exceptional vendors emerge as the leading chat messenger app and guide the overall direction of the market.
We have seen a number of new vendors just recently entering the market and immediately calling themselves e.g. “leading chat messenger app”, “highly-secure messenger for enterprises”, “best business messaging app”, “leading Whatsapp for enterprise” and so on. For a vendor with a messaging product that is just a couple of months old, these kind of statements are not always credible.
Here are some negative examples:
- Transport encryption with SSL/TLS is a basic requirement (that even many websites do nowadays) and does not make a vendor a “military-grade messaging app”. A secure messenger for enterprises should have several additional layers of encryption.
- A nice messaging app is a good start, but is does not qualify as a “leading chat messenger app”, if it does not work across platforms or has limited digital content sharing.
- A “highly-secure messenger for businesses” stores everything in clear on the server instead of anonymizing user data. Besides multi-tenancy normally means clearly separating and protecting tenant data, and not mixing up the data of all tenants on the server.
- In order to manage users, an enterprise messaging app should not require to hard-code everything via a terminal interface. There should be a professional, easy to use and comprehensive administrator portal.
- A “leading team communication app” should be highly scalable and not get performance issues, when there are more than 500 employees using the app.
- It is hard to believe that a vendor offers the “leading chat messenger for enterprises”, if there aren’t any good references available for the product.
- Actually there are many more examples like that…
What are the criteria for a leading chat messenger app?
For enterprises it is important to understand the differences between chat messenger apps and to identify the leading business messengers. This brings up the question, what are the criteria for a leading chat messenger app and what features, qualities and capabilities should the product have?
1. Leading chat messenger app– Complete feature set, Whatsapp user experience, intuitive user interface, professional group messaging, read receipts (even for groups), chat administration.
2. Leading cross-platform app– Availability for all smartphones, tablets and desktops as a native app, real-time message synchronization between apps of a user, reliable push-notifications for all apps.
3. Leading digital content sharing– Photos, videos, voice messages, locations from a venues database, links with previews, all kind of files (e.g. PDFs, office documents), support of enterprise file sharing solutions.
4. Leading data protection– Anonymized user IDs (using secure algorithms), data economy and minimal data usage, automatic data reduction, no address book storage, data stored in your country only, data retention policies, secure backups.
5. Leading security– Strong encryption (transport, meta data, message, storage on devices and cloud/server), multi-factor authentication, ISO27001 certified data centers, strict security policies, regular audits.
6. Leading compliance– Data protection law of your country, strong order data processing agreements, support of industry standards, guidelines and regulations, comprehensive audit logs, archiving of chats, messages and content, revisor access.
7. Leading administration– Professional administrator portal, easy user management, LDAP/AD synchronization, access management (incl. white listing), pre-configured groups, multi-tenancy, multi-domain, professional monitoring, bulk-operations.
8. Leading mobile application management– Company-wide security and data protection policies, automatic app roll-outs, remote wipe/blocking of devices/apps, secure tunneling, pass codes, support of leading MDM/EMM vendors.
9. Leading deployment and hosting– Available as cloud, private cloud and on-premise solution, dedicated cloud hosting for your country, easy setup and deployment, fast roll-out possible, fit for complex firewall/network infrastructure.
10. Leading scalability and performance– Scalable architecture for up to 200.000 employees (e.g. tenants, contacts, groups), performant apps, service capable of high load, reliable push notifications in large deployments, high service availability.
11. Leading integrations– Available API to connect to 3rd party software & services, secure access under administrative control, integrations concentrate on industry 4.0 and digitalization, focus on ecosystem requirements of European enterprises.
12. Leading support and updates– Qualified support for mid-sized businesses and/or large corporations, enterprise-grade SLAs, regular app updates, smooth and seamless server updates and maintenance.
13. Leading references– Leading companies are using the enterprise messaging app, good references available across industries, leading references available in your industry.
14. Leading partners– Leading IT resellers, carriers and system houses endorse the product, leading technology companies have partnerships with the vendor.
15. Leading Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)– Reasonable license, set up, training, support and hosting costs of product, significant productivity benefits and cost reductions.
In summary, a product has to fulfill many criteria to be a leading chat messenger app. Also it is clear, that a new vendor cannot provide the best messenger for businesses in a short time frame. It takes considerable time to build and become a market leading messenger for enterprises.
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